Palace defends head of human rights compensation board


Posted at Feb 17 2014 06:55 PM | Updated as of Feb 18 2014 02:55 AM

MANILA - Malacanang asked the public to give retired police director Lina Sarmiento a chance to head a board that will oversee the distribution of P10 billion for martial law victims.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda described Sarmiento as a “security sector reformist.”

Several former political detainees questioned the appointment of Sarmiento, saying her job is to deal with victims allegedly abused by state forces during the rule of Marcos, including the police.

"Let's give her a chance. Kasama niya rito sa board maraming narekomendang human rights advocates. (Let's give her a chance. Besides, the board also has many human rights advocates who had been highly recommended)," Lacierda said.

He noted Sarmiento was even assigned previously as head of the Philippine National Police Human Rights Affairs Office.

The Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 was signed on February 25 last year.

The bill provides a two-year period within which to distribute the money to human rights victims.